Thursday, February 27, 2014

ALL I EVER WANTED WAS A HUSBAND, A HOME, A FAMILY -- by Guest-- Rachel Leigh Smith

“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”  Jeremiah 29:11

I’ve always loved this verse. But it’s hard to remember the truth of it when you’re stuck in the middle of a disaster.

For the first twenty-five years of my life I wanted one thing: a husband, home of my own, and a family. To me the three are entwined. In May, 2009 I walked down the aisle and thought I had it. A man who appeared to adore me, got along with my family, had a bright future in his chosen field, and I was willing to follow him anywhere. Even to New York, the last place this country girl ever wanted to live.

Then it all blew up in my face. I was two hundred and twenty miles form home, in a town where I knew no one, and my dream turned into a nightmare. I had this verse on a plaque which I kept on the dresser. I spent hours pouring my heart out to a man who was the opposite of what I thought I was getting, hours pouring my heart out to God. Hours crying and demanding to know why I couldn’t have my dream.

The following January we moved even further from home. This Southern belle moved to Long Island, hoping and praying things would get better. Things got worse. They escalated, in fact, to the point where I had to call the police.

Even as every woman’s worst nightmare unfolded, my God had a plan to protect and prosper me. In 2001 I discovered message boards on the Internet, and made a friend on Long Island. God, in his mercy and provision, put me fifteen minutes from my friend. Her parents sheltered me until mine could arrive.

But it was over. Two weeks later I left out of fear for my safety and life. I tried for a year to put things back together and give him another chance.

I was angry, offended, and wanted nothing to do with God for over a year. I was on thin ice for awhile. And it was lonely. But he drew me back to him. Convinced me Jeremiah 29:11 is still true. Gave me new dreams that have taken me to places I never could have imagined I’d be.

I’m a novelist. Before those new dreams took root my words dried up. I wrote nothing for close to a year. It hurt to not write. Then, on what would have been my third wedding anniversary the words came back. A novel poured out of me that summer and became the story of my heart, with a wounded hero looking for redemption. God’s fingerprints are all over this space opera universe.

I once again believe with all my heart his plans for me are good, to give me hope and a future.

(Here’s the excerpt, and fits with the theme of the post. I poured a lot of my journey back to wholeness into A’yen.)
He leaned against the wall, back of his head touching the cool metal. Dr. Hart brushed his arm. “You look a little lost.”
First step to trusting her was talking to her. “I don’t have a purpose anymore. Everything I used to do no longer exists.”

She took his hand, rubbed her thumb across the top. “Not true, A’yen. You know about stars, and now I’m going to teach you about archaeology. There’s a lot to learn and you only have a month.”

She released his hand and held her empty one out to him, palm up. First he stared at her hand, then her eyes. Everything in him missed physical contact with another person. Hell, missed sexual contact. The way it made him feel. The way he made his partner feel. He’d never been with a human woman on his own terms before and he wanted it. Really wanted it.

Master’s voice whispered in his memory. Patience. Desire alone wasn’t enough to sustain a relationship or reveal his secrets. Master could have taken him at any point, but he never did. It must be mutual, or he really was nothing more than a slave.

He placed his hand in hers. Green eyes flicked to his hand, the storm gray cuff around his wrist, then up to his face. As if she knew what she asked of him, and what it cost him to say yes. “Let’s get one thing clear. I am not a lab rat to be molded to your specifications.”

Rachel Leigh Smith is a romance writer, a geek, and a Southern belle. She lives in Louisiana with a half-crazed calico named Zoe. When not adding words to an SFR novel she’s reading paranormal romance or crafting while watching some type of SF on TV. She’s still unpublished, but hopefully not for long. 

Rachel also blogs at and hangs out on Facebook.


sadie crandle said...

Very honest, my fellow geek. Love you.

Elizabeth Byler Younts said...

I can really appreciate your story. Thank you for sharing. That verse has brought me through some very low times also. Thankful for the Word of God.

Sandi Rog said...

Rachel, thank you for sharing your heart! Bless you sweet sister. BTW, I LOVE this headshot of you!

Rachel Leigh Smith said...

Thanks, Sandi! It's one of my headshots I had done at conference last fall. I love how they turned out.

Love you too, Noel.

Elizabeth, you're welcome. Thank you for reading it.

Carol Moncado said...

Thank you for sharing your story, my friend. I'm so glad you had that friend there. The way God works seemingly insignificant things into our lives and later they turn out to be super important.

I'm also super intrigued by that snippet ;).

Rachel Leigh Smith said...

Thanks, Carol. The snippet is from the book I have out on submission right now, My Name Is A'yen. It's a science fiction romance. Discovering A'yen (who is as real to me as my family) was a big part of my journey to healing.

There's more snippets on my blog, tagged My Name Is A'yen.

Emilie Hendryx said...

Great post Rachel! I am encouraged to see how the Lord is using unfortunate events in your life for good. There are sadly a lot of women who find themselves in a position similar to yours and you can speak to them in a way others can't. Thanks for being willing to share!

Steve Myers said...

I feel for you Rachel. Its happens to men as well and I've been on that side of the spectrum one too many times.

I find it ironic at times the covers on our books are of the people we hope to have a lasting godly marriage but what turns out in real life is much different than covers (of people) imply. Ask me sometime about a con artist in Russia that bilked thousands from Christian men (including almost myself). Or the Craig's List killer Miranda Barbour or those who have newlywed men thrown overboard on honeymoons on cruise ships.

I've experienced the similar pain in a professional sense after preparing with a BA/MA in the 1990s, after 15 years in small to medium market radio and TV, to resume a media career in network television, film companies and even so called Christian Media companies only to find not the dream but the nightmares of different realities or rejection. Televangelists, and/or mega churches that seem Godly on the surface but inwardly are wolves in sheeps clothing.

There comes a time to walk (run) away from the abuse and trust God has a better plan. Whether I blamed God (or moreover myself for missing His best plan) is part of the restoration process.

The only thing that makes sense to me now is how these things make us stronger (when weakened through the challenges) and restored by the stories that pour forth in the WIPs at present and novels to come. It reinforces how important it is to restore hope to ourselves and our readers while mending hearts of those like us who may be or have been in similar places.

What we writers can do is offer the encouragement trusting God to make it through as the wisest choice of all. Christian Fiction holds that ability whether its the 95% of female writers or my lonely end of 5% men who write. I suspect in Romantic Fiction the numbers are lower but just be assured I appreciate your story. All I ever wanted was a wife, home, and family. At 54 and after 40 years it only seems to come true in my novels.

Rachel Leigh Smith said...

Thank you, Emilie and Steve.

Steve, I stopped writing Christian fiction two years ago. I've been called out of it. Last year at ACFW conference was moment after moment after moment of confirming I don't belong in that market. They don't want what I write and they don't want my characters.

I never intended to cross over, but since I have it's been nothing but joy. I doubt I'll ever go back. The freedom I have to explore what my characters present to me is an incredible feeling.

Anonymous said...

What about many of us Good men that wanted a Good wife and family that we still Don't have today?